Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Regular reports on Factorio development.

Which do you prefer?

Poll ended at Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:08 pm

Limited content width
80
32%
Scaling width to window
173
68%
 
Total votes: 253

Koub
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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by Koub » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:25 am

Oktokolo wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:02 am
Deadly-Bagel wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:40 pm
Please stop using red over green and brown, those arrows are very difficult for me to see. Additionally in this situation, red is generally an indicator of "something is wrong" and could potentially be misinterpreted.
They look extremely visible to me. If they would be more visible, i would have to wear sunglasses to avoid getting blinded by their in-your-face-ness.
But they might indeed be less obvious for some color-blind people. Wonder if they would look better and would be more accessible if they where bright yellow, purple, or cyan...
This might help you to understand : viewtopic.php?p=357145#p357145

The question is : should the game be designed for the 5-ish % of the population who has some kind of colour blindness in mind ? I don't realize how much an effort it would be for the devs to add ... whatever's needed to content all kinds of colour blindnesses.
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Oktokolo
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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by Oktokolo » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:07 am

Koub wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:25 am
The question is : should the game be designed for the 5-ish % of the population who has some kind of colour blindness in mind ? I don't realize how much an effort it would be for the devs to add ... whatever's needed to content all kinds of colour blindnesses.
I doubt that it is possible to design for all possible kinds of colour blindness with a single non-grayscale colour sheme.
So the colour scheme would probably have to be configurable (an additional grayscale mode would be the minimum requirement).
But i would go for allowing mods to add postprocessing shaders. Then modders will make mods for all kinds of colour blindness (including the grayscale mode wich would be a reasonable default for people whose kind of colour blindness has not been addressed yet).
We would also likely see mods going for a more artsy experience or enhancing the contrast for old people who have problems seeing the game world at night - and streamers of course.

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by bobingabout » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:50 am

Red-Green Dichromism is the most common form of colour blindness, especially amongst males. Therefore, it should be considered first and foremost when considering colourblindness friendliness. It's also the easiest to avoid problems with if you know what you're doing.

Either way... red arrows does generally indicate "something wrong", so that's two reasons to change it.
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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by Ekornserk » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:18 am

Tutorial comments, pausing the game and press <TAB> to progress / remove info is unusual, and I think it's quite annoying. It interrupts the game (bad) and the user might accidentally hit <TAB> too fast and miss important information.

I prefer tutorials to behave like this:
- (Never interrupt the gameplay).
- Give players a main goal / purpose and simple subgoals (ex: "make a self-sufficient mining operation" / "feed 10 iron from mining drill to smelter")
- Provide clear feedback on all progress to the goal (ex: build drill, place drill, mine X stone)
- Provide a "Help" that will give detailed info on the current goal. (How to craft mining drill ++)

Let the player explore, provide constant feedback on progress, and have a "HELP" button that will spoonfeed needed information for the current goal if the payer get stuck at any point.

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by mrvn » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:46 am

Aidiakapi wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:40 pm
Especially on higher resolution (I'm running at 1440p), the fixed width is a blessing. With variable width, you end up with really long lines, making it hard to read. Zooming in also works better at a fixed width, keeping everything in proportion. However, as with all things like this, having it as an option for the people who want it would be best.
That has a simple solution. Don't run your browser full screen but limit the width of the window.

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by meganothing » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:59 pm

bobingabout wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:50 am
Red-Green Dichromism is the most common form of colour blindness, especially amongst males. Therefore, it should be considered first and foremost when considering colourblindness friendliness. It's also the easiest to avoid problems with if you know what you're doing.

Either way... red arrows does generally indicate "something wrong", so that's two reasons to change it.
What about making the texture of the arrows multi-colored? Either a thick border of a different color or a pattern like hatching?

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by ratchetfreak » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:45 pm

meganothing wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:59 pm
bobingabout wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:50 am
Red-Green Dichromism is the most common form of colour blindness, especially amongst males. Therefore, it should be considered first and foremost when considering colourblindness friendliness. It's also the easiest to avoid problems with if you know what you're doing.

Either way... red arrows does generally indicate "something wrong", so that's two reasons to change it.
What about making the texture of the arrows multi-colored? Either a thick border of a different color or a pattern like hatching?
noise-on-noise doesn't look that good or isn't all that clear either

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by Zavian » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:34 pm

ratchetfreak wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:45 pm
noise-on-noise doesn't look that good or isn't all that clear either
They could easily change the background to the same grey checkerboard that is used for the in-game tutorials. If they pick a brighter colour (eg yellow or cyan) for the arrows that would probably work for almost everyone. (Even if they are totally colorblind, the arrows will probably have enough contrast to be distinguishable against the darker background tiles).

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by Deadly-Bagel » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:06 am

Koub wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:25 am
This might help you to understand : viewtopic.php?p=357145#p357145

The question is : should the game be designed for the 5-ish % of the population who has some kind of colour blindness in mind ? I don't realize how much an effort it would be for the devs to add ... whatever's needed to content all kinds of colour blindnesses.
Thank you for linking that =P though it should be noted I don't seem to have a "standard" colour deficiency - I expect I actually have two types, but I digress, red-green differentiation is definitely difficult for me.

It should also be noted that the number of males affected by colour deficiency is about 8% (I wonder how many females actually play this game?) and there is estimated to be up to twice as many again with a mild to moderate case that does not cause problems for the most part, and often goes unnoticed.
Zavian wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:34 pm
They could easily change the background to the same grey checkerboard that is used for the in-game tutorials. If they pick a brighter colour (eg yellow or cyan) for the arrows that would probably work for almost everyone. (Even if they are totally colorblind, the arrows will probably have enough contrast to be distinguishable against the darker background tiles).
The red is quite dark, so simply having a grey background would be an improvement but not a fix. It is difficult to explain what pure red looks like - sort of as if there were less light on it than everything else? Consider if you're watching TV in the dark, and someone holds up a coloured sheet next to the TV, it's harder to see what colour it is. Not only that, but when put in front of (visible) dark to medium background, your eyes simultaneously try to adjust to both "brightness" and things end up blurry. If it's a light colour it can be seen simply by contrast but still not that comfortable to look at. I guess this makes sense as with fewer red cones it will appear dimmer compared to other colours.
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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by Philip017 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:54 pm

abregado wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:09 am
Philip017 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:58 pm
realistically the lack of balance in the tutorial left me with playing a heavily unbalanced game until i learned this way would be better. luckily your game can be played that way as it will just work, even if it doesn't work best. so that is a major plus. but i think learning the balance of some things would be helpful in the tutorial.
One of my main missions with the new content it to increase the quality of the lesson that the early game gives. Just forcing the player to make each interaction once in a row its a great way to say as a developer "Hey! We put a tutorial in our game so dont complain", but I think Factorio deserves better.
Philip017 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:58 pm
i will be testing the new tutorial when 17 experimental is released and will give you feedback for sure.
I look forward to your feedback, but I would also enjoy you watching someone who never played Factorio play the new early game. It can be very frustrating for the observer, but if you can manage to say nothing during the experience (and even watch them suffer through parts they dont understand) then your feedback will be even more valuable.
I am totally not complaining about the lack of the tutorial, i sampled the demo before i bought the game and that is what really got me to buy the game, i don't think it is a bad tutorial by any means, but yes it can be better.

as for not being able to watch someone else struggle, i struggle to watch someone on twitch/youtube play, im like thats not right, or you forgot that, and they cant even hear me, lol. but yeah i totally understand making a tutorial better would require you as a developer withstand not interceding and let them struggle away until they ask for help. make note of that and tweak the tutorial accordingly. i have replayed the tutorial each time you changed something since i started playing the game, so i have already seen how you have made it better. so in that mindset, keep up the good work and i look forward to sampling your next revision!

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by Ekevoo » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:29 pm

What do you mean it's not using the full width of the monitor!

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by mrudat » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:50 pm

On the subject of the arrows in the inserter image; if you use a miniature map, rather than a static image, would it not be best to use inserters and the standard inserter arrows to indicate what the inserters allow you to do; it avoids needing a second graphic for an arrow, a different choice of colour for the arrow, etc. etc.

I'd suggest a quest/todo-list style list of 'what you want to do next'. Have a list of what you could do next that you can drill down through until you get the instructions on how to do this particular thing.

I'd also suggest that instead of having a tutorial-specific this is how this works image that it would be more useful to have the help-section have the 'this is how this works' image, and the tutorial shows you the help window at the appropriate time; perhaps have the tutorial click the help button (hold down for 250ms, so it's highlighted for more than one tick), have the window pop up, and click though (at 250ms for each click) digging up the relevant image, so you show the user where to find the information later.

Edit: fix typo

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by Kirold » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:40 pm

One of the most exciting stuff when you don't know factorio is the trailer. Yet, when you start the campaign or a new game, it feels "empty".
Why not starting with a mission of a base full of trains, of robots and stuff? Maybe the base could be attacked, and the player forced to leave.. But now, he KNOWS he can rebuild all of that. He just needs to learn HOW...

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by nljr » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:24 pm

I feel for you guys. I wrote a game about 8 years ago and the tutorial was by far the hardest part to get right.

I found when I took the heavy-handed approach, forcing the player to do the right thing and only the right thing, they ended up not liking the game, ever. If you take all the challenge out of that first level, how is the player going to understand why the game is fun?

Be very careful.

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Re: Friday Facts #261 - Performance + New player interaction

Post by CharitableClas » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:26 pm

The yellow color of the arrows does make it hard to see on some terrain like desert and anything light colored. Also the color of the player is sometimes hard to see depending on what color you are as well as the color of the terrain (e.g. Black in a forest with large shadowy areas). The downside is you also have to take into consideration that you may have people that play that are color blind as well. If there was a way to make your character look unique and still be visible to you and everyone else that would be wonderful. Plus the text color sometimes is very hard to see with certain colors due to terrain as well.

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